Wayne Rooney still has a 'prominent role' to play for England, insists Paul Scholes

SAM LONG
Getty Images

Wayne Rooney still has a prominent role to play for England, according to former Three Lions midfielder Paul Scholes.

Captain Rooney was left out of Gareth Southgate's squad for last week's 1-0 friendly defeat to Germany and today's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Rooney has been battling a knee injury while Southgate also has raised concerns over the 31-year-old's lack of game time at Old Trafford.

Rooney has made just nine Premier League starts for Jose Mourinho's side this season and his long-term future with the Red Devils is in doubt.

But Scholes is convinced his former club and country team-mate Rooney is far from finished on the international stage.

"Wayne has been a sensational footballer for England and Manchester United for nearly 15 years," Scholes insisted.

"He is greatly respected and I still think he has a part to play with United and England.

"He has great experience, he can pass knowledge on to young players and it's up to Gareth if and when he wants to use it.

"I don't want to talk about him going to another English club, I hope he gets himself back into the United team.

"He has a fight on his hands but the Wayne Rooney I know is someone who will face that challenge and try to do it.

"He still has a prominent role to play for England and United.

"There's been a lot of speculation over where he goes now but Wayne, with what he's done, has earned the right to do what he wants to do. I hope he does stay and fight," Scholes added.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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